Volume 2, Issue 8 October 2002

over 1,500 readers

Edited by Bob Ferguson, Member of USCF Scholastic Council 

** Story Hour with the Grandmasters **

GM Joel Benjamin and GM Arthur Bisguier along with their moderator, Stephen Shutt, entertain and inform their audience by sharing little-known chess anecdotes in this 90 minute video.


Greetings to All Chess Folks,

Welcome to the eleventh issue (Volume 2, Number 8) of the Scholastic Chess Update.  

  • Effects of a Chess Program on Reasoning

  • Web Site of the Month!

  • What's Happening on the Scholastic Council?

The Effects of a Chess Program on Abstract Reasoning and Problem-Solving

by James Celone

For my master's thesis I did a study at the Foote School in New Haven, Connecticut.  

Does chess make students smarter? More specifically, does a comprehensive chess education program improve a student�s abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills? This study, conducted by James Celone at the Foote School in New Haven, Connecticut, sought to answer these questions by examining the performance of 19 elementary school students, ranging in age from 7 to 14, who were self-selected for a week-long program consisting of 20 hours of chess instruction. Students were tested before and after the program, using equivalent forms of the TONI-3 Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, a valid and reliable instrument highly associated with abstract reasoning and problem solving, and using the Knight�s Tour, a domain-specific instrument measuring overall chess problem-solving ability. The study found a significant increase between pre-test and post-test scores in both intelligence and domain-specific problem-solving ability. This extends and confirms earlier work done in 1975 by Christiaen in Belgium.


** Story Hour with the Grandmasters **

GM Joel Benjamin and GM Arthur Bisguier along with their moderator, Stephen Shutt, entertain and inform their audience by sharing little-known chess anecdotes in this 90 minute video.




    Recent Chess News 
News & Notes, including Chessville
    coverage of:
Kramnik vs Deep Fritz Match (Bahrain, Oct. 4th - 19th)
         Essent Tournament (Hoogeveen, Oct. 13th - 19th)
         First Saturday Chess Tournaments (Budapest)

The Week In Chess (TWIC) The most complete Tournament News


Web Site of the Month!  

ChessKids Academy Lessons and Quizzes

This Web site is created and maintained by Richard James, Director of Richmond Junior Chess Club,who lives in Whitton, Twickenham.  He has been teaching chess to children since the early 1970s. He is the author of Move One, a chess course for children.

This site has a variety of educational tools�

  • Great quizzes
  • Online interactive chess teaching resources
  • A chess syllabus
  • A parents' page
  • A list of sites where you can play chess  
  • Information for starting a chess club
  • A message board
  • MAGIC WORKSHEET GENERATOR to generate a MATE IN ONE worksheet
  • Recommendations on computer software and books
  • Two chess playing programs
  • Great Links

Check it out, and let us know what you think.  Share with us your favorite chess sites by e-mailing our Web Guy at [email protected].


!!! Castle Chess Camp !!!

Dates for the 2003 Castle Chess Camp are June 8-15 at Emory University in Atlanta and July 20-27 at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.  If you would like to be placed on our mailing list for the camps, email us at [email protected].


What's Happening on the Scholastic Council? 

By Bob Ferguson

To assist Chairperson Ralph Bowman during the sale of his home and pending move, the Council elected Dewain Barber to serve as co-chair.   

Dewain's coaching experience, leadership, and business experience will be valuable attributes in the continuing development of the Council's goals and programs.

For the November issue of the Scholastic Chess Update, Dewain will share the highlights of the Council's new plan to improve communication with our nation's scholastic chess coaches.

Our next Council meeting is scheduled for December 14th in Atlanta.  If you are planning to attend the K-12 Championships, please take advantage of the coaches' meetings and say hello to us.

** Submit Articles For the Update **

We need your help to provide articles to chess folks.  Please consider submitting an article.  Share your ideas with others to help more kids reap the benefits of chess.


One of the Scholastic Council�s goals is to improve communication among members of the scholastic community.  This e-Newsletter is the second step towards reaching this goal.  Our first step was the creation of a Scholastic Chess Website to communicate what the Scholastic Council is and what goals are being pursued.  For details, visit or  

How do you contact your scholastic representatives?







[email protected] 


Ralph Bowman [email protected]  620.244.5683



[email protected]




[email protected]


Sunil Weeramantry [email protected] 914.997.9409

The following are ex-officio members of the Council.

Tom Brownscombe [email protected] 845.562.8350
Stephen Shutt [email protected] 215.978.6867

If you are NOT interested in scholastic chess, please click the reply button and type �remove� in the subject line.  If you know others who would like to receive this information, please forward the URL for the website to them.  If you are receiving multiple copies, please let us know so we can correct our error.  If you would like to see an improved newsletter, VOLUNTEER! 

The Scholastic Chess Update is a newsletter created to help coaches, parents, teachers, and others promote scholastic chess. It is read by over 1,500 chess aficionados.

The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USCF Scholastic Council.  The Council makes no warranties about the contents of the Scholastic Chess Update.

To unsubscribe, just reply to this email with "remove" in the subject.

Copyright 2002 American Chess School

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